Christmas Ornaments

“Clay” Ornaments

2 cups baking soda
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cups cool water

Mix cornstarch and baking soda in a pot.

Add water to the powder mixture and stir.

Place the pot on a stove over medium heat. Be sure to stir the mixture constantly.

Once it thickens place into a bowl and cover with a damp paper towel and let cool.

Knead the cooled mixture until smooth. Roll out the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick on a flat surface. If you find the mixture to be a little sticky, add a little cornstarch either on the counter on knead it into the mixture.

Cut out desired shape with cookie cutters.

You can also add “pizzazz” by stamping your shape with various objects. Ex. Stamps, embossing folders, sprigs of herbs or evergreen twigs or fingerprints for a personal touch.

You allow ornaments to dry overnight to keep the whiteness or bake them.

To bake them preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ornaments on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes.  Be sure to watch closely for the last 10-15 minutes to prevent over browning.

Snow Flakes

9 Table Spoons of Mule 20 BoraxIMG_3070
1 L Boiled Hot Water
Pipe cleaners
String
Stick to hang from
Food Colouring (Optional)

  1. Form your shape out of pipe cleaners.
  2. Tie string to snowflake.
  3. Boil water.
  4. Put 9 TBSP of Borax in container.
  5. Add water.
  6. Stir until Borax is dissolved
  7. Hang snowflake on stick and place solution
  8. Come back 6-12 hours later or over night.
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Wrap Up: Advent Traditions and Ideas

So Last week (because the ball is so far out of sight over here) Sarah brought a wonderful craft for the whole group to do, and its super simple and really pretty when all said and done. What you need is some small candy bags, string and whatever you want to decorate your bags with.

IMG_3036Now you have your bags put together, you need to fill your bags with things. I’ve compiled a PDF of AdventActivities you can print off (and cut out) with activities to do with your children. As well you can put little “gifts” in the bags such as stickers, mini play dough, trinkets, ornaments, or anything that tickles your fancy while in Dollarama.

On top of daily activities and trinkets you can also place Christmas hymns and/or scriptures in the bags to read daily, or a verse from the Christmas Story. You can also place craft supplies in each bag and collect the pieces to make the craft on the last day.

If you glance back at the Making Advent Meaningful Post from 2 years ago it is a great resource for scriptures to read just need to click on Chandra, Megan or Gina’s link.

If decorating bags is too intimidating or time consuming there are other ways to visually acknowledge Advent such as hanging a string and add an ornament a day, or making a paper chain and either adding a loop a day or removing a loop a day. It makes for a great visual aid for children who can count as to how many days are left until Christmas.

Some of the family traditions discussed aside from memorizing the Christmas Story, was taking the nativity scene and bring Mary and Joseph closer to the manger each day and then place baby Jesus in the manger on the last Sunday of Advent. Another told about how they added a new animal each day to the manger, or how they’re family would sing Christmas songs around a candle after supper each night.   Or every night before bed read a poem or story from a favourite book like the Holly Pond Hill Treasury.

If this is all a little much you can gaze at the English Christmas Market from the comfort of you computer,  no going outside, charming English accents and “all of this for about the price of a coffee”  with a Jackie Lawson Advent Calendar.

~Danielle~

P.S. If you want the Advent Activities as a doc so you can edit and add your own just let me know.

Wrap Up: Difficult Conversations

We had the wonderful Melissa Miller,  Pastor at Springstein Mennonite Church and family counsellor came in to share all the natural curiosities our children will inquire about as they experience new things from their surroundings (or friends).

From what I interpreted from the conversations and discussions it’s really all depends on your parenting style, your personality, your child’s personality, and your comfort levels. Sorry no definitive tidbits of wisdom or set answers here. I do have some great ice breaking literature that was passed round the circle.

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The Very Best of Friends – Margaret Wild

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Before You Were Born – Margaret Sheffield

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Please Come Home – Doris Sanford
A child’s book about divorce

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When Dinosaurs Die – Laurie Krasny Brown & Marc Brown
A Guide to Understanding Death

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A Time For Toys – Margaret Wild

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It’s Perfectly Normal – Robie Harris
Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health

Annemarie’s Awesome Links and Happy News

I don’t know why I’ve been hoarding my links, but there are many, and lo, they are awesome.

Vivian wanted me to pass this along: We welcomed our baby boy into the world on Friday afternoon, Nov.14. We’ve given him the name Ezra Jacob Thiessen Unger. He weighed a cute little 6 lbs. 5 oz. and he’s doing really well. So far my recovery after the cesarean birth is going OK, though I’m definitely feeling the limitations of my body! We’re thrilled to have Ezra as part of our family. Thanks for all your thoughts and well wishes leading up to this birth!

YAY! Congratulations, Unger family!

On to links (lots of these are funny this week so maybe do a few Kegels to prepare):

Hashtag Advent (I love Anglicans).

And 40 days of Advent love and gratitude (warning: autoplay music on that site)

Not funny, very true: Are you the default parent?

Domino magazine’s 26 favourite design blogs, if you need some eye candy

Ok, get ready, because the rest of these all cracked me up like whoa.

Turn your princess-obsessed toddler into a feminist in 8 easy steps

How to interview your doula – PERFECTION.

Things children do that are unacceptable for adults to do

This is way late now, but the trailer for Daylight Savings, The Movie

Taking one letter out of movie titles is hilarious

Did you read A Wrinkle In Time as a kid? If so, here’s dirtbag Mrs Whatsit.

Women rejecting marriage proposals in art history, and unhappy mothers in western art history (there are more in the series – click through them for more lolz) (they are EVERYTHING.)

Sacrilege at its best: Bible verses in which praying has been replaced by truckin’.

This was relevant to me this week, so I’m sharing in case you share my struggles: how to fix a bra when the STUPID underwire pops out and fills you with unutterable rage and the air turns blue with your swearing.

Everyone should write down the crazy stuff their toddlers/preschoolers/kids say, because it is comedy GOLD. Exhibit A.

This Week: Advent Traditions

This week we’re going to talk about our Advent traditions and Sarah is going to lead us in a super-awesome Advent craft. Since it’s gotten stupid cold and snowy this week, it doesn’t even feel weird to talk about Christmas anymore. Because like it or not, Christmas is coming!

This Week: Difficult Conversations

Melissa Miller, pastor at Springstein Mennonite Church and family counsellor, is going to be at MOMs on Thursday to talk to us about how to have difficult conversations with our kids. Topics like death and divorce are tough to handle with preschoolers (and older kids too!) in a way that is honest but doesn’t scare them. It won’t be a fluffy morning, but it will be well worth attending.

See you there!

This Week: Group Advice

This week, we’re revisiting a previously awesome session in which we get into small groups divided up by our children’s ages and talk about the highs and lows, get help and advice, and share tips. There will definitely be time to switch up the groups for those of us with more than one kid. Last time this session was a great resource for many of us, and I hope it’s equally good this time.